The Latest Column by the Bishop
Next Steps in the Response
to the April 25 Tornadoes
Bear one another's burdens, and in this way
you will fulfill the law of Christ. -- Galatians 6:2
Robert Sharp, Director of Disaster Response Ministries, has graciously agreed to direct the response to the April 25 tornadoes. We have an excellent staff in place on the coast and the work there will continue into mid-2012. Robert brings to this work direct experience in the wake of Katrina and several years of experience in leadership of our very effective response, now five years in effect.
Robert will work with Steve Casteel and Wayne Napier to set up a system of receiving and assigning volunteers, identifying and supporting host churches, identifying warehouse space, and planning for long-range recovery.
Remember the wisdom in disaster response. The emergency phase -- search and rescue -- continues for 10 times the length of the storm. The response phase -- cleaning up and securing homes with tarps -- continues for 10 times the emergency phase. The recovery phase -- rebuilding homes -- continues for 10 times the response phase. By this formula, we are in the response phase and anticipate the recovery phase to extend into the coming years.
Please share these needs with your congregation:
Clean-up teams are needed immediately. (Contact Wayne Napier, Conference Disaster Response Coordinator at email@example.com)
Host churches in or near the impact area are needed for work teams over the next three months.
Warehouse space is needed near the impact area.
Work teams are needed over the next 18 months as we move into the rebuilding phase of recovery.
Offerings can be sent immediately to the Conference Treasurer and marked "2010 Tornado Recovery." The annual offering for Disaster Response, approved by the Annual Conference, in July will be designated for April tornado recovery.
Soon the Disaster Response call center will be operating with toll free numbers for volunteering and for requesting help. Until that time you may call 601-354-0515, ext. 21 to volunteer your help in any of these ways.
Thank you for your prayers, your efforts and your offerings as we bear one another's burdens and in so doing, gladden the heart of God.
Hope Morgan Ward